Vietnam Time

2/23/2018 9:59:19 AM

Optimistic about 2018 defense external affairs

Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, member of the Party Central Committee, permanent member of the Central Military Commission and Deputy Defense Minister, has reviewed achievements of defense external affairs last year and outlined tasks in 2018.

According to the Deputy Minister, in 2017, the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of National Defense continuously considered defense external affairs one of the military’s top priority missions to protect the country by peaceful means, and paid attention to directing and instructing units in the whole military to fulfill their assigned tasks, as follows:

Firstly, units in the whole military thoroughly grasped all resolutions of the Party; actively drafted strategic documents, including the Project on “International military integration toward 2020, with a vision toward 2030”; proactively made recommendations to the Party and State on strategic issues related to the defense diplomacy and the protection of the national sovereignty over seas and islands; joined hands to promptly deal with any circumstances to create favorable conditions for the cause of national building.

Secondly, the whole military units deepened bilateral defense cooperation in line with diversifying relations with other parties; and contributed to promoting mutual understanding and trust and friendship between Vietnam and other states worldwide in order to firmly safeguard the territorial integrity. Of note, defense external affairs made contributions to maintaining social order and security on the shared border areas as well as the national sovereignty over waters, islands, and the continental shelf.


Deputy Defense Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh (source: Vnexpress)

Thirdly, the whole military units actively and proactively participated in defense-security mechanisms and forums, showing the country’s responsibility in contributing to addressing disputes and ensuring peace and stability in the region. Vietnam is making efforts to complete preparations for the deployment of the level-two field hospital to the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) in the second quarter of 2018, contributing to heightening the role and position of the country and its military in the international arena.

Fourthly, the whole military units effectively sped up activities to solve the aftermaths of bombs, mines and explosives left behind by the war in Vietnam, whereby they returned to viable use lands from dioxin and chemical substances to help localities develop their socio-economy.

In 2018, situations and strategies of powerful countries over the world continue to follow their directions last year. Competition coupled with cooperation is maintained. There are the US’s National Security Strategy, the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy, the Resolution of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, among others. The Asia-Pacific region is witnessing a shift in the balance of power and the strategic competitiveness among big nations. A number of complicated issues in politics, economics, and security in several ASEAN member countries as well as influences from big nations are forecast to have impacts on the common stance of the whole ASEAN Community, including the disputes in the East Sea.

Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh visiting a defense facility of the Republic of Korea on the sidelines of the 2017 Seoul Defense Dialogue 

For the country and the military as well, 2018 is an important transitional year of the implementation of the Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress and the Resolution of the 10th Military Party Congress; the fifth year of the implementation of the Resolution No.28-NQ/TW of the 11th Party Central Committee on the “national defense strategy in the new situation”, Resolution No.22-NQ/TW of the Politburo (11th tenure) on “international integration”, and Resolution No.806-NQ/QUTW of the Central Military Commission on international integration and defense diplomacy towards 2020 and the following years; and the first year of the implementation of the Project “International integration and defense diplomacy towards 2020, with a vision to 2030.”

In order to successfully carry out the above tasks, the defense external affairs work this year has to focus on the following fields:

Firstly, the military continues to improve regulations on international integration and defense diplomacy, concretize and roll out defense external affairs in accordance with the Party’s foreign relations guidelines, conduct the Project “International integration and defense diplomacy in the 2018-2020 period” and the Project “Boosting defense cooperation between Vietnam-Laos and Vietnam-Cambodia toward 2020 and the following years”; and prepare defense diplomacy-related plans for Vietnam’s Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2020; to name but a few.

Secondly, the military beefs up bilateral defense cooperation with priority towards those who are the country’s neighbors, big countries, ASEAN member states, and traditional partners. They should comprehensively map out and conduct cooperation programs to further improve mutual understanding and the country’s military power, which focus on high-ranking delegation exchanges, overcome war consequences, search and rescue, marine security, education and training, strategic study, and defense industry.

Military Region 9 (MR 9) and the Royal Cambodian Army, on February 2 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in 2018.

Especially, border external affairs work is still a major task. The ministry will cooperate with relevant agencies to host the fifth Vietnam-China border defense friendship exchange program in Cao Bang province, hold a gathering between Vietnam’s Military Region 1 Command and China’s Southern Theater Command, organize a cross-border Vietnam-Cambodia search and rescue exercise, finish the border demarcation between Vietnam and Cambodia, and run friendship exchanges among border guards of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, China with other countries.

Thirdly, the military actively participates in defense cooperation mechanisms under the ASEAN framework, completes relevant preparations for Vietnam’s Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2020, and upholds Vietnam’s role in regional defense-security forums and mechanisms, especially in working with ASEAN member states and China to further speed up the process to create a legally binding code of conduct (COC) in the East Sea.

Fourthly, the military continues to strengthen the staff of the Steering Committee on International Integration (Steering Committee 806 in short) as well as other agencies in charge of international integration and defense diplomacy, to include the Department of External Relations and the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations, in order to meet the demands of missions in the new context.

Lastly, the military fosters information dissemination on defense external affairs via different press means to international and domestic social classes, especially students and young people./.

  ( VNF/PANO )
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